Saturday, February 25, 2012

Petites Pies~

I prepared this post a couple of weeks ago..I hope you enjoy it..the Jamie Oliver recipe is quite good..see further down~

Small,individual..works well here~
I don't eat desserts ..but my husband loves them.




Des petites tartes alléchantes..work very well:)




I love everything small..half portions..mini desserts..small children:)



We have rewards points with our banking..and very few rewards points..takes me a long time to accumulate points..Last year we received the Breville Juicer that I love..the year before a Panini press I think.. this year..I opted for the Breville Mini Pie Baker.
I had seen them at Williams Sonoma..but it was not in my budget..sooo..when I spotted it in our rewards catalog..and I know Jacques loves pies..
It was a no brainer..they said 4 - 6 weeks delivery..(sniffle).. lo and behold 2 days later..it was at our doorstep..
It's a great, sturdy little handsome machine..I will have plenty of fun with this..
I see little tourtières in my future..salmon pies..
These were mixed berry pies..
I made 2 w/ regular pastry bottoms and tops and 2 with regular pastry bottoms and puff pastry tops.
Took 10 mins to bake(not prep time).... Clean up is a breeze
Fun:)

I watched Jamie Oliver one afternoon..he is so charming and his show..Meals in minutes I think it's called..I have only caught 2 episodes..is worth watching..

He made individual little jam and pear and meringue pies(Pear Drop Tartlets) w/ store bought little shells..I wondered if I could make just the shells with the Brevlle..and yes by pricking with a fork they turned out well..



The recipe can be found here..
For his Pear Drop Tartlets as he calls them..along with a lovely salad and great looking pasta~
He's unique.I really really like him.Cutest family too:)




Hope you try Jamie's recipe..the store bought tart shells are just right he says..you do not need to make your own as I did.

I would not hesitate to replace the jam in the Pear Droplet tarts with Nutella:) Chocolate and pears go very well together..or even an almond paste?:)And of course Dulce De Leche~

Next trials for us~


My husband has always been my best and most complimentary taste tester..Since day 1.~
Even at 19 when I made him macaroni..never believed the recipe when they said 1 cup (8 ozs)dried elbow noodles..I used the 32 ozs package I think..Oh lala.. not even 2 bricks of Velveeta(I cannot even believe ..I cooked with Velveeta and ate it on my toast..the taste was great..but I will have to Google..is it..was it..real cheese?) coated it..We threw it out..But he was still complimentary on my trial..Imagine.
I hate to admit to that..But I learned with him.
Have I mentioned it is a pleasure to bake ,cook for him?Even after almost 40 yrs.


Just a little note to say that there will be an intermission in my humble little blog.
Une pause..
Prenez soin de vous~Take care~

Monday, February 20, 2012

Soul Food #127



These are or were at some point...some of my favorite things:

Asparagus Tarts
Brigitte Cookie Cutter
The windows and doors of Italy and France
Monograms
Couscous
Anything Paris
Small Soup Tureens(I have 2:))
Blooming Teas
Yellow Black and White together
Herbs
Tuscan Pork..

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Usually the last one out of the gate~

Am I~

I bet for this also..Although my daughters had not heard of it~

I have just discovered these tapes..



and had a grand time wrapping a Kraft paper Valentine parcel with a chalkboard tag and this new tape~


I bought the first 3 rolls separately..
Then found this coup de coeur little tin w/ 5 rolls..I just could not resist.My daughter said:"Go for it~" And I did.


I enjoy wrapping gifts.. even more so with this tape..The possibilities are endless as I saw on the net..how to make your own... if you Google~
I had some very old Scotch double sided tape..and some drawer/pantry liner paper I bought in France..It works perfectly..I just cut a length of the double sided tape..and put it on the liner and cut..the tape can be wound around almost anything..many are using vintage spools..
I cannot quote one source..as I got my inspiration here and there..



Easy!


Have fun~
~

Any paper would work..I am sure I will be scrutinizing wrapping paper ..in a whole new light:)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cache-Pots~



You may remember when I made the little Nest pillow..There are many ways to transfer photocopies to fabric,ceramic,wood etc..
I have transfered color photocopies to Tiles ..from my trip to Europe and they line our powder room sink..That was a lot of fun..and so is transfering by printing with freezer paper etc with your own copier.. also by printing on T-shirt transfers.
I still like the method with Fabric Transfer Medium..and Matte Medium..



Although not always perfect(but I like that also)..there are so many uses for what you can do with them..

I like to make cache -pots..they cover a regular jam jar well and make bouquets look so personal..This one was intended for a friend~


You can adorn them the way you want..with ribbon to gather..or wire to keep a form..you can add jewels and buttons and diamonds and rubies:)(kidding..)




I have had my transfer medium..bottom left for almost 100 yrs..and the matte medium for perhaps 2.The products keep well..
The high resolution images I bought on Etsy..They arrive PDF file..
For this method you cannot use an inkjet printer..I had three copies made at my Bureau En Gros (Staples) and they are very reasonable as you know...They also print my tags etc..I send everything via computer and pick up when ready.Ahh..the joys of the internet!
You need patience..as you rub off the paper with some water and your fingers..But it is so nice to see your projects come to life..
There is another technique With Cytra-Solv~ I have not been able to find any here..But one day I will and I will let you know~

Fun fun projects..You can make journal covers..cases..all kinds of things~It's the personal touch I love so much.

Enjoy~

PS ...My little projects are FAR from perfect..uneven.. no double stitching.. a lot of "glued"things..They are just for decorative fun purposes..They would never win an award for craftmanship..Perhaps with Citra Solv more of the paper would come off..but still I encourage you to try.
This bag was given to my friend who never looks for perfection..she just accepts everything the way they are.
I love that.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Les Madeleines de Ladurée Chez Nous~


Ladurée..the Sucré Book..Quel Joli Bouquin..

It's a velours covered book w/gilded edges in a lovely Ladurée Box.
Such pretty photos and recipes..


Feminine..like this rose that has become my fast favorite.
I am not a red rose person.
This one fits me perfectly.
It opens a bit like a heart also~


It's cream..and pink..an edge of antique brown..some green..it is frilly and big and beautiful and strong!

The Madeleines turned out so well..the little bump..the golden edges..and the well imprinted ridges..





Dainty,puffy,lemony,lovely.



La Recette~
Ingredients



2 Lemons

160 gr sugar

175 gr all purpose flour + 20 gr for the mold

10 gr baking powder

180 gr butter + 20 gr for the mold

4 eggs

35 gr honey

Directions

The dough needs to be prepared a day in advance.

Grate the zest two lemons. In bowl mix the zest of the two lemons with the sugar. In other bowl, sift the flour and the baking powder.In a small saucepan melt the butter.

Beat the eggs together with the lemon zest, sugar and the honey until the mix becomes a bit foamy. Next add the flour-baking powder mix and whisk. Finally add the melted butter and mix until well incorporated.

Place the dough in the fridge,covered for at least 12 hrs.

The next day, melt 20 gr of butter and with a brush paint the madeleines molds. Place the molds in the freezer for 15 min until the butter firms. Sprinkle flour and remove the excess.

Preheat the oven at 200ºC.(390 F) fill the molds ¾ of the capacity. Bake them during 8 to 10 min, until the madeleines are golden. Let the madeleines cool before removing them from the mold.

My Notes..
I halved the recipe and it made ap 24 small madeleines...I left them in the fridge(the dough) overnight.


I also made the last decoration for the tree~
You remember the clay I used for tags?

I rolled the clay out..as I had before..cut with a heart cutter..used a paint stamp I had from folk art classes 100 yrs ago...stamped the clay.. baked it..painted it w/ an acrylic paint and wiped off..strung a ribbon and donned the tree~
Fun little craft~
Happy Valentine's Day~

To you.. together.. or on your own..:)
It is quite evident looking through the book that the Ladurée pastries..are fit for a Princess~..Or Prince~
Must be a real treat to walk through the many French Pâtisseries..Would I forego Le Louvre for Ladurée? If I had to pick one?



Qui sait?:)


The above sweet flags etc can be found via: Today's Creative Blog~

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Painted Cookies~



Our Mary..taught us how to paint cookies a number of years ago now..I still enjoy the process..I wanted to make a few for the tree:) and as gifts..I used fondant this time instead of icing..I wanted to do them NOW:)



They are so much fun to do..you simply use food coloring..and paint away..I used the sugar cookie recipe from my previous cookie post ..



While painting them I imagined what Ronelle,Susan,Carol,Mary.. and Marie.. Monica..etc..would paint on them~
All would be exquisite.

I am not a painter.I wish I was:)



Trop "le fun" !!

Enjoy..Just bake sugar cookies that hold their form well.. once cooled put a bit of corn syrup on your cookie and place the thinly rolled fondant you have cut with the same cookie cutter.
Chose your designs..and paint.I find it easier to look at a picture or photo and paint.I can't paint from my head~
Thank you Mary..

My wording ..is a take on one of my favorite poems..one part of it..Paul Verlaine~1844~1896

Voici des fruits, des fleurs, des feuilles et des branches
Et puis voici mon coeur qui ne bat que pour vous.


Here are some fruits,some flowers,some leaves and some branches..and here is my heart that beats only for you~

You can see some previous cookies I painted here

Here
and here~

Probably a few more..But these are to give you an idea of how versatile and how much fun they can be~

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Edible Valentine's Tree Decorations~

I promised I would share some home made Valentine tree decorations~My tree is frugal..very frugal..from tip to toe:)
I have 2 more posts for Valentines..so I am trying to fit them in.. I'll be quieter after..Just in case some of you like to see different ideas here and there~
I hope you are not yawning by now~:)



So I'll start with the BIG picture:)

For the tree topper..I made a sugar cookie from the recipe below..and cut it out to fit the Fancy Flour Wafer Paper ..Perfect fit..I love those transfer papers..Jain ..alerted me to them and sent me my first order..shipping to Canada..is prohibitive price wise..to me...
I must remember to replenish when I go back to the USA.:)



I still have the charm my dad gave my mom.. not the only one..for her charm bracelet.. with these words inscribed..and they mean the world to me:)..because he did mean every word~

Look how well the transfers turn out..
I used some corn syrup on top of the cookie..a thin coating of fondant.. and then the transfer ..and then the corn syrup to preserve..I won't eat this one..It's a tree topper!You can see the progress of the tree in the collage..

Next I fell upon Bakerella's method of adding molded fondant to her sugar cookies..She has the BEST molds..I used my cookie stamp that I used for the Croxetti..It pales in comparison...And my Etsy find..:) My monogram~



However..I learned so much more than molding fondant etc...

I would love it..if you went to her link and read her post about 2011~

You know that saying about the grass always seems greener on the other side?
I was in awe and humbled when I read what this talented..successful.nice,great blogger has just gone though.

I never knew..I am not a habitual visitor..we have never exchanged words..e-mails..comments..I have left some comments..few... yes..few..and I made her pops for one of my daughter's showers:)..They were a hit:)

But there are soo many people there.. That..I have always felt..(invisible)..
I now gather she reads everything~

I admire her even more..To have persevered.. done everything it takes and more..to succeed..(not the success word I mean)..to have her mom by her side..to have the courage to keep going..:)



This just made me see..once again..we always think life is so rosy..across the fence..when in effect many of us..struggle.. and keep going..and leave it unsaid.

Kudos to Bakerella and her inspirational story..:)



In the links I gave..you will find the sugar cookie recipe she uses..and the credit to said recipe~

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies


3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar (I use sugar that I've stored vanilla beans in)
2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
1 egg
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling (video on University of Cookie).

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shape on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.


Once the cookies were cooled..I pressed the rolled fondant into my mold..then laid it down after removal.I cut it out with the same cookie heart cutter and laid it on the cookie on top of a thin coating of corn syrup..
Her method is explained on her blog also.



The cookies I have here..are for the tree..but they are edible..
Enjoy her beautiful blog~ She deserves all her accolades and success~

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ann and Anh~

My heart skipped a beat when I saw Anh's heart imprint cookies:)~


I was excited to make them..and printed up a rough draft of her recipe and instructions..

Jacques decided to change a thermostat at home and took off the electricity:( So I was left w/out true visuals..He did say he could do it after ..but I thought..nono.. I was worried they would take me too much time..:)
Oh lala I ruined the first of the 2 set cookie recipe..

The next day..all was well and I looked at the computer while assembling part 2:)

Heaven sent..They worked..Once you GET it..they are a cinch..they are keepers..and they look and remind me of Anh:)



they are darling..and with a cup..a tiny cup or two of Harney's Valentine tea..(Chocolate and roses!)..they are a real treat~

La Recette~

Chocolate Heart Imprint Cookies

(The cookie dough recipe is from Donna Hay Magazine)

Ingredients (for 40-50 cookies, size of a 50c Australian coin)
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
110g castor sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Method

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and light. Add the egg and beat to combine. Sift flour, add vanilla and combine well.

Divide the mixture into 3 parts. Mix 1 portion with cocoa powder. Wrap the cookies dough with plastic wrap and chill foe 20 mins.

Divide the chocolate dough into 4 portions. Use two portions first, roll them into two thin logs (like chopsticks). Use your fingers to pinch the top of the two logs together. Try to shape it so that the top part points up (this is the bottom of the heart)
Now, carefully and gently invert the two lines so that the bottom of the line is on top. Pinch some white dough, and roll them into a thin log, which hasthe same length with the chocolate log.


Gently line the white log into the middle of the chocolate lines, where the two wings of the heart are (see photo). Basically, if you slice the chocolate part across, you will have the heart shape!


Repeat the above process so you will have two heart-shaped logs.
Divide the white dough into two. Work with each at a time. Roll the dough between parchment papers until it is about 5mm thin. Remove the papers.


Place 1 heart-shaped log in the middle of the white dough. Roll up, Swiss-roll style to enclose the heart shape log. Seal. Repeat with the remaining white dough and heart-shaped log. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line baking tray with baking paper.

Take the cookies logs out of the fridge, and slice 1cm thick. Place onto the tray, and bake for 12 mins or until golden. Cool on a cookies rack then store properly.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please do go LOOK at Anh's Post and look at the photos:)

You need to:)



It pleased me to set everything up on one of my beautiful AnnT boards~

You all know my fondness for Ann's boards..I think I have 3..my son-in law 1..and my friend 1..:)

They are treasures..heirlooms really.
One I use to chop(One side..blush) the other two..to serve.


Ann's blog is one of the first I followed..I think I have peaked and commented on every post.Her recipes are wonderful..true blue..and winners here..
She and her husband make beautiful..unique products..
I love the live edges on everything..so natural..and I love the wood.
The scent..Everything!

It is nice to have and to hold something natural,and hand made.
The fact that they are unique..thrills me..I asked my friend if she still loved her board 5 yrs later:) Her husband said,she won't use it! She loves it..!
He made us smile.
My son-in-law..uses it all the time and it looks amazing.He's our favorite chef..I know it's his favorite board.They remind me of him..:)And Ann..and Moe..and my friends 35th wedding anniversary yrs ago~..

Look ...they are signed and numbered also:)
Coup de Coeur~

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Soul Food #126 For The Birds~






We had some impromptu weather recently..meaning we expected snow..got rain..then freezing rain..then snow..

The weather was for the birds~


I had seen some very cute little birdseed wreaths a few yrs ago and made some..then recently many wedding favor/heart ones..

Heart ones~! Here and there and varying recipes..I tried 2 recipes.and 2 methods~



The first recipe..was ok..but tended to crumble a bit..



I had added strips of waxed paper to remove them from my oh so old 5 heart shaped mold..

I hung them on trees the morning after the rain/snow..
My daughter was leaving her home..and drove up and said "I saw a blue housecoat..what are you doing out in your housecoat?"? Feeding the birds! Oh..ok..:)



In no time..I had the most convivial dinner guests..the cutest finches..



They ate everything "Dans le temps de le dire~":)
Sometimes it takes hours to braise a nice meal..like the Osso Bucco we had that night..took us minutes to eat it..

:)

Like the finches..:)

My daughter and I had gone shopping this same week and she had bought the cutest cookie jar w/ chalkboard paint..to write what was in the cookie jar..I picked up some chalkboard paint and proceeded to paint.glasses..tags.. popsickle sticks..refresh my little kitchen chalkboard..

And add tags to my little buckets .. the inspiration for the tag for the bucket that I had came from :~ Here..




Thank you...MFCH~

In comparing both recipes..

For the birdseed feeders..
This is by far my favorite~
1 Pack of gelatin diluted in 1/2 Cup of hot water
3/4 cup flour
3 tbsps corn syrup
4 cups bird seed(I love the most varied,colorful one) and so do the birds!

I just mixed everything together and placed in my molds..BUT I put Saran Wrap instead of just waxed paper strips..works wonders.
So easy!

I let them freeze outside..then tied and hung~


Love doing these!Don't know how well they work in milder climates,but in my chilly cold neck of the woods..they freeze well and hang beautifully..until they disappear~:)